Bourj Hammoud: media incitement, the municipality’s statement, and residents’ testimonies

Around two months ago, a video went viral showing a group of Lebanese men on motorcycles announcing a “warning deadline” to Syrians to vacate Bourj Hammoud via loudspeakers, causing widespread concern on social media. This video highlights ongoing campaigns of discrimination against Syrian refugees and threats of expulsion, particularly following the murder of Pascal Sleiman, the coordinator of the Lebanese Forces party in Byblos.

This article aims to provide a clearer understanding of the situation in Bourj Hammoud, based on fieldwork conducted in the neighborhood shortly after the incident. The article reveals the stance of the Bourj Hammoud municipality, which issued a statement condemning the incident and emphasizing the protection of Syrians. Testimonies from residents indicate that threats and assaults on Syrians only affected the northern part of Bourj Hammoud, north of Independence Street towards Dora. In contrast, fear and caution prevailed in the southern part towards Nabaa, but without any assaults. Testimonies also indicate that what was explained in the media was greatly exaggerated, and show that some Syrians evacuated out of fear rather than due to direct eviction demands and highlight the sympathy many residents have towards Syrians.

The article highlights the history of Bourj Hammoud as a refuge for many expatriates over the years as persecuted and diverse groups, and the complex housing challenges the area faces. It emphasizes the importance of local and national policies that respect the demographic diversity of residents and ensure everyone’s right to dignified living conditions.

In summary, the research underscores that municipalities are capable of standing against incitement and protecting its residents, reflecting the strength of the local community in maintaining coexistence and diversity.

Read the full Article in Arabic.

Housing Bourj Hammoud Lebanon Metn Didtrict Mount Lebanon Governorate